Latin America and the Caribbean must speak with one voice and build consensus for a transformative reconstruction

Ministers of Foreign Affairs and high authorities of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, together with political personalities from outside the region, agreed today on the urgency of consolidating the efforts and spaces to advance towards an integration that allows the region arrive with one voice on the global stage and lay the foundations for a transformative reconstruction with a view to a new style of development.

On the closing day of the thirty-ninth session of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), which took place from Monday 24 to Wednesday 26 October in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the authorities reaffirmed ECLAC as the promoter of a rigorous and analytical dialogue where all voices converge region of.

The meeting was chaired by Santiago Cafiero, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship of Argentina, the country that holds the Presidency of ECLAC. José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Regional Commission, and Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union and Vice President of the European Commission, intervened.

Ministers from the Bahamas, Frederick Mitchell; Bolivia, Rogelio Mayta; Chile, Antonia Urrejola; Costa Rica, Arnoldo Andre Tinoco; Cuba, Rodrigo Malmierca; Ecuador, Juan Carlos Holguin; El Salvador, Alexandra Hill; Guatemala, Mario Bucaro; Honduras, Eduardo Enrique Reina; Jamaica, Kamina Johnson Smith; Nicaragua, Denis Moncada; Panama, Janaina Tewaney; Paraguay, Julio Cesar Arriola; Peru, Cesar Landa; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Keisal Peters; Suriname, Albert Ramdin, and Venezuela, Carlos Faría Tortosa.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of Spain, José Manuel Albares, also spoke, in addition to nine Vice Ministers and senior representatives of the countries of the region and outside it.

“ECLAC has been and must continue to be the place where we are able to bring important and difficult conversations to the table,” said José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs during his speech.

He added that in Latin America and the Caribbean “we must be able to develop multilateral and multi-stakeholder dialogues that allow us to listen with careful respect to the diverse visions that coexist in the region and, based on this, build regional consensus that allows us to lay the foundations of shared diagnoses, and public policy proposals that are sustainable over time”.

Salazar-Xirinachs stressed that the shared objective, in this post-pandemic era and for 2023, cannot only be to mitigate the damage inflicted by COVID-19 and reactivate the economy.

“Of course we must mitigate the damage, such as the increase in poverty, informality and inequality, and face the educational blackout, but it is also about promoting transformative actions for development, it is about the countries of the region advancing , manage to get out of the middle income trap and fulfill the legitimate dream of being socially inclusive countries based on dynamic, sustained, sustainable and inclusive growth”, he stated.

The Foreign Minister of Argentina, Santiago Cafiero, meanwhile, stressed that the enormous challenges facing Latin American and Caribbean people are based on historical inequality gaps in the region, productive and gender gaps, which are added to current problems.

“The dialogue that we are holding today not only enriches the debate, but fundamentally, the projections to find that path that makes our continent go through human and economic development, with social justice,” the Minister stressed.

He added that the ‘roadmap’ proposed by ECLAC in its position paper titled Towards the transformation of the development model in Latin America and the Caribbean: production, inclusion and sustainability“couldn’t be more current”.

“Latin American and Caribbean people have the tools to overcome this situation. We have tools to generate the necessary knowledge to overcome all the ups and downs in our continent. That is why I congratulate the task that ECLAC has carried out historically. ECLAC was never a technocratic body, it always had life, soul, spirit and challenged itself in the most stressful situations”, he stated.

Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union and Vice President of the European Commission, for his part, expressed his interest in relaunching and renewing the relationship with Latin America and the Caribbean.

“I would like to deliver a message to you in these turbulent times, in the face of world geopolitics seriously altered by Russia’s war against Ukraine: this is an appropriate moment to relaunch more than ever the relationship between Latin America and the Caribbean and the European Union. For the European Union, relaunching and renewing this relationship is a budgetary and priority task”, he stated.

He added that both regions must address how to work together and react to a global shock that is not transitory.

“How to adapt to a new geopolitical and geoeconomic scenario? How can we increase the capacity of our economies and societies, their resilience? Fleeing from captive markets, looking for reliable partners to be able to diversify our action”, he stated.

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Written by Editor TLN

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